Utilitarianism, By John Stuart Mill Essay

Utilitarianism, By John Stuart Mill Essay

Length: 1084 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Throughout N7’s last round he kept saying “unity” rather than “utility.” Just in case there is confusion, I am arguing based on utility not unity.

N7 stated that I have not provided any evidence or argument that would lead to acceptance of utility. I will do so. It is worth noting that N7 has not recommended an alternative moral philosophy. This is troubling because even if Utilitarianism is found to be imperfect, it is the only moral framework presented. I would expect an alternate would be presented if he expects us to throw out Utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism is grounded in the reality that all desires we have boil down to pleasure, and freedom from pain. All other things we desire, we do so because of these base desires. As John Stuart Mill states in his book entitled “Utilitarianism;” “The only proof capable of being given that an object is visible, is that people actually see it. The only proof that a sound is audible, is that people hear it... In like manner, I apprehend, the sole evidence it is possible to produce that anything is desirable, is that people do actually desire it… No reason can be given why the general happiness is desirable, except that each person, so far as he believes it to be attainable, desires his own happiness… we have not only all the proof which the case admits of, but all which it is possible to require, that happiness is a good: that each person 's happiness is a good to that person, and the general happiness, therefore, a good to the aggregate of all persons.”

He goes on to say “Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, ...


... middle of paper ...


...ely the moral thing to do is to lie. Same with promises, surely N7 can think of a reasonable time to break a promise. It is the result, not the motive, or duty that determines morality.

The final concern raised by my opponent is the experience machine. This has already been addressed in earlier comments. There are higher and lower pleasures. One aspect that would made a pleasure higher is the fact that it is real.

I believe at this point I have responded sufficiently to every concern N7 has presented about Utility. It becomes clear that Utilitarian ethics is a reasonable, and effective way to determine morality. Being that this is the only portion of my argument that N7 contended the rest of my statements hold. I maintain that “It is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people.”

(1) Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Utilitarianism By John Stuart Mill

- Along with other noted philosophers, John Stuart Mill developed the nineteenth century philosophy known as Utilitarianism - the contention that man should judge everything in life based upon its ability to promote the greatest individual happiness. While Bentham is acknowledged as the philosophy’s founder, it was Mill who justified the axiom through reason. He maintained that because human beings are endowed with the ability for conscious thought, they are not merely satisfied with physical pleasures; humans strive to achieve pleasures of the mind as well....   [tags: Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill, Pleasure]

Better Essays
978 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about The Utilitarianism Of John Stuart Mill

- Many have different views when it comes to defining morality and the ways in which a person can achieve morality. The three different views that we have discussed in class are the utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill, the non-consequentialism of Immanuel Kant, and the virtue-based ethics of Aristotle. The view on morality that i disagree with most is Mill’s utilitarianism for various reasons. I believe that the other two views have their flaws, but Mill’s view is by far the most flawed, in my opinion....   [tags: Utilitarianism, Ethics, John Stuart Mill]

Better Essays
852 words (2.4 pages)

Utilitarianism, By John Stuart Mill Essay

- Utilitarianism, as being debated for hundreds of years, is both approved and criticized by people from different perspectives and different stances. The essence of this ethical theory, as John Stuart Mill put it: actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. Obviously what needs to be elaborated here for this Greater Happiness Principle is the definition of happiness and unhappiness. Happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; and unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure....   [tags: Utilitarianism, Ethics, John Stuart Mill]

Better Essays
1289 words (3.7 pages)

Utilitarianism By John Stuart Mill Essay

- Utilitarianism Many people agree on the fact that society needs to act with a sense of morality. However, there are differing opinions on how to go about this. One popular idea is that a person should always consider the greater good of society in order to be moral. This moral principle is known as utilitarianism. The end result of this theory is happiness for all, which appeals to many people, since happiness is typically a goal everyone can agree to strive towards. The following examines the approach of utilitarianism from the perspective of John Stuart Mils, as well as looks its strengths and weakness’s through a thought argument, to demonstrate how this is played out in society....   [tags: Utilitarianism, Morality, John Stuart Mill]

Better Essays
1005 words (2.9 pages)

John Stuart Mill 's Utilitarianism Essay

- In order to understand John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism we must first understand his history and motives in writing the series of essays. Mill had many influencers most notably his father James Mill and the father of Utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham. James grew up poor but was influenced by his mother, who had high hopes for the formerly named Milne family, and educated himself becoming a preacher and then executive in the East India Company. James was a proponent of empiricism and believed in John Locke’s idea of man being born as a blank slate....   [tags: Utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill]

Better Essays
1574 words (4.5 pages)

The Philosophy Of Utilitarianism By John Stuart Mill Essay

- In this paper, I will define and explain Utilitarianism, then evaluate the proofs made to support it. In the nineteenth century, the philosophy of Utilitarianism was developed by John Stuart Mill. Utilitarianism is the theory that man should judge everything in life based upon its ability to promote the greatest individual happiness. While Jeremy Bentham is acknowledged as the father of Utilitarianism, it was Mill who defended its structure through reason. He continually reasoned that because human beings are capable of achieving conscious thought, they are not simply satisfied by physical pleasures; humans desire to pleasure their minds as well....   [tags: Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham]

Better Essays
1037 words (3 pages)

Utilitarianism By John Stuart Mill Essay example

- Danielle Coker Professor John Lachs Phil 105 January 21, 2015 Utilitarianism “Utility” or the “greatest happiness principle holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure." (Mill 7) John Stuart Mills uses these words to describe what he believes the essence of utilitarianism to be. In his 1868 Speech on Capital Punishment entitled Utilitarianism, Mills defines and defends the theory of utilitarianism and its use in Ethics....   [tags: Utilitarianism, Human, John Stuart Mill, Pleasure]

Better Essays
1158 words (3.3 pages)

John Stuart Mill 's Theory Of Utilitarianism Essay

- John Stuart Mill’s theory of Utilitarianism is a moral consequentialist view that maintains actions are good if they lead to happiness and bad if they lead to suffering. The same rationale can be applied to obstruction—whatever prevents suffering is morally good, and whatever prevents happiness is morally bad. It should be noted Mill characterizes happiness as “pleasure and the absence of pain” (104). He also puts forth that intellectual pleasures—such as the satisfaction that comes with finishing a paper, or having a successful long-term friendship—are better than the animalistic pleasures taken in eating or sex....   [tags: Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill, Suffering]

Better Essays
862 words (2.5 pages)

Utilitarianism, And Will Be Presented Throughout The Book ' The Ideas Of John Stuart Mill '

- Concerning the utilitarian philosophy, the term refers to the idea what is considered to be the greatest good for the overall population, what decision will produce the greatest good for all.  In this essay, the ideas of John Stuart Mill is addressing the topic Utilitarianism, and will be presented throughout the essay.  Mr. Mill goes on to argue that not only is utilitarianism seen wrongly because of the simplicity to misunderstand it 's meaning, but that human beings fail to grasp the whole of the theory....   [tags: Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill, Ethics]

Better Essays
1522 words (4.3 pages)

John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism Essay

- John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism Utilitarianism defined, is the contention that a man should judge everything based on the ability to promote the greatest individual happiness. In other words Utilitarianism states that good is what brings the most happiness to the most people. John Stuart Mill based his utilitarian principle on the decisions that we make. He says the decisions should always benefit the most people as much as possible no matter what the consequences might be. Mill says that we should weigh the outcomes and make our decisions based on the outcome that benefits the majority of the people....   [tags: Philosophy Morality John Stuart Mill ]

Better Essays
1321 words (3.8 pages)